Reputation management and building relationships with customers is foremost in minds of most New Zealand businesses.
The recent Fonterra scare lets us all know we need to keep on top of our game at all times. Our customers need to be involved with our business – transparency is king in this age of online social networking.
The rationale behind building and maintaining relationships with customers, which may prove to help in the survival of the business is: they are your advocates often responsible for the reputation of your business online.
How to build and maintain relationships that help manage your reputation
- Customers being crucial to the survival of a business, deserve the best possible response from a business in good times and bad times. Open communication is the first step to building and maintaining your customer advocates. Communicate regularly via email. Let your email recipients know what’s happening in your business on a monthly basis.
- Responding fast to queries – social networks are perfect for quick regular updates. Your advocates can manage what is being said about your business online by letting their followers know what they know. They are modern day pigeons and they can help diffuse rumours and maintain your business reputation.
Building customer and advocate relationships is the only way to sustain businesses large and small, and is worth every bit of investment of time and effort.
Ensuring your business has open communication channels at all times will allow your followers to be your messengers and support you when you most need it.